4 What’s Next
Whether it’s college, the military, work force, a gap year, or something else, the transition from high school to “what’s next” can cause significant stress and can contribute to mental illness and suicide. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among ages 15-24. We cannot ignore this critical developmental stage.
4 What’s Next is a primary prevention program that builds psychological resiliency in high school students by giving them the tools to handle stress and distress now and in their future.
The core of the program is the 4 What’s Next Framework, which teaches students how to effectively handle distress by “reaching in” and utilizing independent coping strategies, “reaching out” by seeking and accepting help outside of themselves, or a combination of the two. This process is followed by an assessment of how well their chosen coping method is working and encourages them to reevaluate if needed.
By learning and applying the 4 What’s Next Framework to their own lives students will:
- Identify individual manifestations of distress
- Understand how internal and external stressors impact mental health
- Build resilience by learning specific actions to improve mental wellness
4 What’s Next meets young adults where they are developmentally, equipping them with transferable skills that can help bridge the gap between “now” and “next.”
“I believe this program is extremely influential in students’ lives and helps them prepare for their new journey. I hope more institutions will consider implementing this program to ensure the best possible outcome for their students’ futures.”
– 4 What’s Next Program Facilitator